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Globalisation de la recherche des groupes industriels : vers “l’innovation inversée” ? Les exemples de General Electric et de Renault R&D GLOBALIZATION OF INDUSTRIAL FIRMS: TOWARDS “REVERSE INNOVATION”? THE EXAMPLES OF GENERAL ELECTRIC AND RENAULT


  • Blandine LAPERCHE

    () (RRI)

  • Gilliane LEFEBVRE

    () (RRI)


Pour maintenir leur compétitivité face à la concurrence des nouvelles firmes multinationales des pays émergents, les entreprises industrielles des pays industriels doivent selon le PDG de General Electric J.Immelt, développer un modèle d’innovation dit « inversé » (Reverse innovation) (Immelt et al., 2009). L’innovation inversée consiste à concevoir les produits non plus dans les pays industriels mais dans les pays émergents pour les commercialiser d’abord dans les pays émergents puis, moyennent adaptations, dans les pays industriels. Ceci constitue une inversion du processus de glocalisation qui se réfère à la conception des produits dans les pays industriels, ensuite adaptés aux marchés des pays émergents. Dans la présente recherche, nous avons souhaité approfondir ce point en le replaçant dans le contexte de la globalisation de la R&D et en étudiant plus particulièrement deux cas d’entreprises, celui de GE Healthcare et Renault. Ces entreprises, étant toutes deux fortement impliquées dans la globalisation de la R&D, ont pourtant une stratégie bien différenciée en matière d’innovation inversé ; Renault menant d’avantage une stratégie d’ingénierie relais à l’international. Si des enquêtes récentes montrent que la stratégie d’innovation inversée est encore peu suivie dans l’industrie, elle pose cependant certaines questions importantes pour la nature et la pérennité de l’activité de R&D dans les pays industriels, que nous soulevons dans cet article. According to J. Immelt (General Electric‟s CEO), considering the new forms of competition and the existing opportunities in emerging countries, industrial corporation must develop reverse innovation, (Immelt et al., 2009). Reverse Innovation consists in designing products no longer in industrialized countries but in emerging countries, where they are going to be marketed first, before being marketed in industrialized countries with a certain number of adjustments. That is the reversed process of glocalization that consists in designing products in industrialized countries before adjusting them to emerging countries. In the present research, we would like to go further into that topic by putting it in the context of R&D globalization and by studying two cases : Ge Healthcare and Renault. These two enterprises have largely globalized their R&D activities, but have two different strategies regarding reverse innovation; Renault focusing more on an international relay engineering strategy. Some recent enquiries show that reverse innovation is still not a not a common strategy. But it raises some important issues regarding the nature and the durability of R&D activities in industrial countries, which we present in this paper.

Suggested Citation

  • Blandine LAPERCHE & Gilliane LEFEBVRE, 2011. "Globalisation de la recherche des groupes industriels : vers “l’innovation inversée” ? Les exemples de General Electric et de Renault R&D GLOBALIZATION OF INDUSTRIAL FIRMS: TOWARDS “REVERSE INNOVATION," Working Papers 21, Réseau de Recherche sur l’Innovation. / Research Network on Innovation.
  • Handle: RePEc:rii:rridoc:21

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    1. repec:dau:papers:123456789/1877 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Athreye, Suma & Cantwell, John, 2007. "Creating competition?: Globalisation and the emergence of new technology producers," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 209-226, March.
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    4. Bengt-åke Lundvall & Patarapong Intarakumnerd & Jan Vang, 2006. "Asia’s Innovation Systems in Transition: An Introduction," Chapters,in: Asia’s Innovation Systems in Transition, chapter 1 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    5. Dimitri Uzunidis, 2008. "The Logic of the Innovative Milieu," Chapters,in: The Genesis of Innovation, chapter 8 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    6. Kuemmerle, Walter, 1999. "Foreign direct investment in industrial research in the pharmaceutical and electronics industries--results from a survey of multinational firms," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(2-3), pages 179-193, March.
    7. Abdelillah Hamdouch & Feng He, 2009. "R&D offshoring and clustering dynamics in pharmaceuticals and biotechnology: key features and insights from the Chinese case," Journal of Innovation Economics, De Boeck Université, vol. 0(2), pages 95-117.
    8. Patel, Pari & Vega, Modesto, 1999. "Patterns of internationalisation of corporate technology: location vs. home country advantages1," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(2-3), pages 145-155, March.
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    More about this item


    accumulation; R&D; Globalisation; Innovation inversée; Reverse innovation; General Electric; Renault;

    JEL classification:

    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D
    • L2 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior
    • F6 - International Economics - - Economic Impacts of Globalization


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